Silent movie comedian, often cited as "The Third Genius" behind Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. He wore horn rimmed glasses and specialized in performing his own stunts some of which were truly innovative, such as hanging off the ledge of a skyscraper. His most famous film Safety Last features many of these stunts. Unlike Chaplin's tramp character, he usually played the enthusiastic young man, willing to do anything to get ahead or win the girl of his dreams. His popularity dimmed somewhat after the advent of talkies but he remained a very influential performer, even after his death in 1971.

The guy with glasses hanging from a clock.

Born Harold Clayton Lloyd in Buchard, Nebraska, on April 20th 1893. After attending stage school, Harold appeared as an extra in several films where he befriended Hal Roach, who soon after started his own film company - Rolin.

Harold starred in a huge number of films for Rolin, initially as Willie Work and then as Lonesome Luke, both of which were essentially Charlie Chaplin's tramp. To say the series was formulaic would probably be an extreme over estimation of their creativity.

In 1917 Harold invented the Glasses character, that set him apart as a silent movie comic actor in his own right and not just a 'me-too' Chaplin plagiarist. The preppy all American glasses wearing character provides us with the most enduring image of Harold, although he didn't wear glasses except for when he was in character. Harold found that he could shed his fame by removing his glasses, and this is reputed to be (although in reverse) the inspiration for the transformation between Clark Kent and Superman.

Shortly before leaving Rolin, Harold made "Safety Last!", from which we get the still of him hanging precariously from a clock face on the side of a skyscraper. At the end of 1923, Harold set up The Harold Lloyd Corporation, distributing films through Pathe and Paramount.

Harold was famous for conducting his own stunts, his only serious injury while filming was sustained in 1920 when a not quite fake bomb exploded costing him his right hand's thumb and forefinger. Following this he wore a prosthetic glove in all his movies.

Harold had three children, Gloria, Harold Jr. (who went on to act), and Marjorie Elizabeth who was adopted. He died aged 78 in 1971 and is interred in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California.

Although rightly considered second fiddle to Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd has left us with many superb images, shorts and feature comedies that are still funny today.


While this may appear hugely prolific, the majority of his early work consisted of 'shorts', the first feature film to star Harold was A Sailor-Made Man in 1921.

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